CLUB PEOPLE • January 2017
The globetrotting chef, TV presenter and Executive Club Member travels far and wide seeking culinary inspiration for his UK seafood restaurants. Here, he shares the highlights, from his Australian holiday home to an Icelandic foodie experience
Rick brings back menu inspiration from his travels to destinations such as India
Where did your love of food and travel come from?
My parents. When I opened the Padstow restaurant in the mid-1970s, the menu was based on food they had cooked at our summer home there – grilled fish, lobsters and crabs. When I brought up my children, we went on holidays to places like Thailand, Hong Kong, India and the USA. Bringing back recipes was good for the menu.
Most surprising foodie destination?
I’d heard so much about the curious things they eat in Reykjavik, like whale blubber and fermented skate. But some young local chefs are experimenting in the same way as Noma did in Copenhagen. It’s the same in Berlin. They don’t cook with Mediterranean ingredients, they use what grows locally.
Oddest culinary tradition you’ve encountered?
Fermented shark in Iceland. You eat a piece then drink a shot of a liqueur called Brennivin. It’s surprisingly nice.
As well as Padstow and London, Rick also calls Mollymook in Australia home. Photo: Getty Images
Favourite European restaurants?
In Lisbon, Cervejaria Ramiro, a beer house that sells seafood. I also love Rudis Beisl in Vienna and a restaurant in Thessaloniki called Tsarouchas, which has the best tripe soup I’ve ever eaten.
What inspired you to start your Long Weekends series?
My wife is Australian and we’ve been on many long weekends, because she loves that you can get on a plane from London, Cardiff or Edinburgh and in a few hours be somewhere with great weather and amazing food like Paris or Venice.
Rick Stein’s new cookbook Long Weekends (£25, BBC Books) presents the best recipes from destinations across Europe. Buy it now
Interview by Katie Gatens